Department of Economic and Social Affairs Public Institutions
Agile Government Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arab Region
Start Date/Time:
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 8:00 AM
End Date/Time:
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:30 AM
Recurring Event:
One time event
Normal Priority
Registration Type:

Agile Government Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arab Region: What Are We Learning for a Better Future?
Webinar organized jointly by
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/SIGMA, United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

Tuesday, 17 November 2020
2.00 – 4.30 PM CET (Paris time)
3.00 – 5.30 PM EET (Beirut Time)
8.00 – 10.30 AM EST (New York Time)


DPIDG jointly with OECD/SIGMA and ESCWA organized a webinar on “Agile government responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Arab region: what are we learning for the future” as part “Government after Shock” an OECD/Public Sector Innovation Observatory Forum. The event took place online on November 17, 2020 and hosted over 120 participants.    
Representatives of governments, civil society, business sector and the youth from the Arab region along with their development partners shared their experiences and challenges in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned. The event addressed the important role of public service and public servants during the pandemic from local, national, and global perspectives and in the light of the implementation of SDGs. It discussed the acceleration of digital transformation, its key challenges, and opportunities in the Arab region. The importance of open innovation was addressed through the lenses of non-government stakeholders, with representatives of civil society, youth, business community shared the experiences of coming together through a whole of society approach to finding solutions in these challenging times.   

The speakers and moderators along with participants recognized the important role of DPIDG/DESA in leading thinking and policy response during the COVID-19 pandemic and building forward better through its policy papers and ongoing capacity-building efforts. They recommended intensification of collaboration and partnerships, innovation, citizen engagement, public service and public servants competence development, strengthening digital government and strengthening public sector institutions especially for whole of society inclusion and accountability in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and ensuring a secure future for the world.  Participants emphasized that the webinar should not be a one and off activity; that it should be instead the beginning of collaboration between DPIDG/DESA and OECD/SIGMA in matters of strengthening the capacities of governance and public service for sustainable development.
The main findings from this online event will be disseminated through professional networks of three organizing institutions, namely the OECD/SIGMA, UNESCWA and UNDESA. They will be channeled into intergovernmental, research and capacity building work in the Arab region for each of the organizing institutions, as we further enhance our cooperation amongst us as well as the capacities of the government and non-government actors in the region in crisis response through digital transformation, continuity of public service delivery and open and inclusive, innovative approaches. It is expected to enhance inter-institutional cooperation at the national, regional and global level as we aim to take the lessons learnt and find pathways towards a better future.  


Supporting documents:

Concept Note

Speaker Bios



Owned by Nosipho On Thursday, December 10, 2020

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